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This site is updated infrequently. For up-to-date information, please visit the new OCaml website at

About Caml

Caml is a general-purpose programming language, designed with program safety and reliability in mind. It is very expressive, yet easy to learn and use. Caml supports functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming styles.

The Caml language has been developed since 1985 at INRIA by the Formel, Cristal and Gallium teams. Caml Light, which was developed in the early 1990s, is still in use today, especially in education. OCaml offers a richer programming language as well as efficient native code compilers for many architectures. A more detailed history of Caml is available.


Both implementations of Caml offer:

In addition, OCaml features:

For more explanations, read our overview of the Caml language and tools, see Yaron Minsky's OCaml for the Masses white paper, or have a look at a hundred lines of Caml.

A Widely Used Programming Language

The Caml language was initially used to develop applications that involve symbolic computation: automatic theorem provers, compilers and interpreters, program analyzers, etc. It is now used to develop software in many other application areas. This is illustrated by our list of selected success stories.

The Caml language is widely used for teaching programming. It is also used inside academic projects in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Several large corporations develop significant industrial projects in OCaml: these include Dassault Systèmes, Microsoft, IBM, and CEA (Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique).

The Caml consortium offers industrial and academic partners a formal framework for participating in the development, maintenance, and evolution of Caml. Partners also enjoy very liberal licensing conditions regarding the Caml software distribution.

How to Get the Caml Compilers?

The Caml compilers developed at INRIA are Open Source software. They are available free of charge.